Zia Mody
Managing Partner, AZB & Partners
Zia Mody serves as Founding Partner and Senior Partner of AZB & Partners, and is the indisputable leader in corporate law in India. She is considered an authority on corporate merger and acquisition law and has a roster of blue-chip international and Indian clients. After gaining a master’s degree from Harvard University, Zia worked for 5 years in New York, before returning to start her own practice in Mumbai in 1984. Under her leadership, AZB & Partners has grown to become one of the largest and most prestigious law firms in the country.

The 3 most important qualities an entrepreneur should have

  1. Obsessive belief in his / her idea: You must have the conviction to stay steadfast through all the twists and turns that you are bound to face.
  2. Ability to sacrifice work-life balanceThere is no easy way to build a great company. You have to give it everything you have got, including all your time and energy.
  3. Strong, value-led DNA: To create something that endures, you must first lay a strong foundation of the right values.  You cannot do this by cutting corners.


Why is good governance important for a startup’s success? 

The business environment for startups has completely changed. Many of them attract overseas funds. Compliance is non-negotiable. The non sequitur of taking shortcuts is simply not available anymore. It makes much more sense to create from the outset, an organization that emphasizes good governance and values. It is heartening to see that this generation of entrepreneurs feels strongly about doing the right thing. They are ambitious and they want to succeed, but they want to do it legally and honorably.


Why did you choose to be part of Kstart?

Kstart is addressing a very critical issue. How do you ensure that startups are created with the foundation and culture that will ultimately help them build a great institution? Currently, it’s a bit hit-and-miss. Kstart is creating a framework to ensure this happens consistently. The energy around Kstart is wonderful. The clincher was the fact that someone as respected as Vani is leading this initiative.


The one thing you wish you had known when you were 25

There is only so much you can do alone. Focus on recruiting and engaging people who will be the building blocks of your organization and ecosystem.


Books you’d recommend

  • The Fountainhead by Ayn Rand
  • The History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbon


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